Data Processing by Partnerships Act

To strengthen and step up the fight against subversive crime, statutory provisions for sharing information within partnerships of government bodies and private parties are under construction. This is the Data Processing by Partnerships Act (Dutch abbreviation: WGS).

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Reason for WGS proposal

In the fight against subversive crime, various public - and sometimes also private - parties work together and share personal data. When doing so, they have to meet the requirements from the privacy legislation. However, this is not always easy within such partnership. That is why a legislative proposal has now been submitted for a special Act that regulates the sharing of personal data.

Statutory basis

In the latest version of the legislative proposal, 4 specific and already existing partnerships are given a statutory basis. These are:

  • the Financial Expertise Centre (FEC);
  • the Infobox Criminal and Unaccountable Assets (iCOV);
  • the Regional Information and Expertise Centres (RIECs);
  • the Care and Safety Houses.

Advice of the Dutch DPA on the WGS

The proposal for the WGS gives governmental organisations and private parties extensive powers to share personal data with each other. The Dutch Data Protection Authority (Dutch DPA) feels that this has significant unwanted consequences for the people whose data are shared.

That is why the Dutch DPA has issued a critical advice on this legislative proposal on several occasions. And called on the Senate of the Dutch Parliament not to adopt the WGS in the proposed form (in Dutch). Though the Dutch DPA endorses the importance of fighting subversive crime, this proposal goes too far.

Advice of the Dutch DPA on the BGS

A further elaboration of the WGS, the Data Processing by Partnerships Decree (Dutch abbreviation: BGS) has been proposed. The Dutch DPA has also assessed this proposal. 

Among other things, the BGS says that there must be clear and objective indications for possible crime. Furthermore, in the proposal the option to designate new partnerships without consent from Parliament has been deleted from the WGS. 

In the opinion of the Dutch DPA, the BGS and consecutive versions of the legislative proposal have led to a significant overall improvement. However, one important safeguard is still missing: prior review by the court. Read more: Important safeguard is missing for acceptable WGS (in Dutch).